On its eighth flyby of Jupiter, our Juno spacecraft caught this striking view of the gas giant planet. Taken on Sept. 1, 2017, Juno was soaring 4,707 miles (7,576 km) from the tops of the planet’s clouds in this view.
Juno is currently at Jupiter to understand the origin and evolution of the planet. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.
With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s auroras. Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system.
Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt
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